What is a CDN?

cdn dashboard

Many of you have probably heard the term CDN while browsing the internet or from talking to a digital marketing consultant. So what is a CDN and what exactly do they do for your website? Let’s talk about that.

CDN (Content Delivery Network) A CDN or a content delivery network is a group of servers that are distributed in several geographic locations that work together in order to serve your content as fast as possible to your users.

If you’re unsure if your website would benefit from a content delivery network or you just feel like learning more about them in the meantime, I encourage you to keep reading this article because I have provided you with some great information and additional resources about this topic that will not only help your current website, but will also help any of your future web projects. Enjoy and happy reading!


Content Delivery Network Benefits

Connecting your website to a Content Delivery Network is definitely a good choice for most website owners (even if you have a small website) and there are several added benefits that come with connecting your website to a CDN. So let’s continue this topic by discussing some of these benefits and what they can do for your website.

1. Website Speed

As you probably have already guessed (and we talk about this a little more later on in this article as well) Content Delivery Networks can boost your website performance and speed by a great deal. Most CDNs will allow you to add browser caching to your website and it serving cached content to your users is one way this service helps to improve the overall speed of your website on both mobile and desktop versions.

Want to learn about other ways you can improve the speed of your website? Click here.

2. User Experience

The website speed enhancements also come with a side benefit as well, and that is a better user experience. It is common knowledge that people get annoyed when they have to sit around for a website to finish loading and slow load times lead to increase bounce rates and user drop offs. When you’re building out your website, always try to remember that improving the UX of your website will help you to gain, retain, and increase your user base.

3. Extra Layers Of Security

Most CDN’s also come with additional security features such as Firewalls, Bruteforce Hacking Protection, DDos Protection, and more. These security solutions can help you to protect your website or web applications even further than what normal web hosting companies might offer you and I definitely think they are worth looking into if you value the security of your platform.  I won’t be discussing the different types of security exploits in this article, but if you’re interested in learning about them, Cloudflare has some great information on these topics and I encourage you to check out any of the following links if you want to find out more.

Bruteforce Hacking Explained

What Is a DDos Attack

What Is a Firewall

Will a CDN Improve My SEO?

The short answer is yes. SEO experts have known for quite some time now that speed is definitely a performance indicator when it comes to Google’s ranking algorithm and they have even started measuring your website’s performance on mobile, so connecting your website to a CDN can definitely help your website with its search engine optimization. Let’s also not forget that CDN’s all usually have built in caching features which is another metric that is checked by both Google Page Speed Insights and GTmetrix.

Are There Any Downsides?

To be quite frank, there aren’t any real downsides to having your website connected to a Free CDN that I know of. However, once your website starts scaling or you want to add things like a cookie free browsing experience, some Content Delivery Networks will make you pay for additional features.

Enterprise CDN Solutions Are Expensive

If you have an established website in need of enterprise CDN solutions, then you might eventually have to start shelling out some additional cash. In case you’re not familiar with said features we are discussing, here is a quick list. Now for most of us, including the average WordPress user, we will never need an enterprise CDN Solution, but for those of you who do, please take time to read further.

  • Even Faster Paint Metrics Some CDN’s can even improve page load times even further for mobile devices on slow networks.
  • IOT Security – If you’re concerned about IOT Security, many CDN companies offer this type of security solution when you pay for one of their Enterprise plans.
  • Increased Scalability – Many Content Delivery Networks also offer some type of additional scalability package if your website has periods of frequent traffic.
  • Custom Nameservers – Another added benefit of many paid CDN solutions is that you can have the ability to create your own custom nameservers.

Are CDN’s Only For Websites?

The answer to this question is no. CDN’s are available for websites, web applications, SAAS applications, and even native iOS mobile applications. Since this article is more targeted towards website owners, that is all I am going to say about this for now; however, feel free to do a quick Google search if you’re trying to look for a CDN solution that is unrelated to improving your website performance.

What CDN’s Do We Recommend?

If you’re wanting to get serious about your website’s performance, then I highly advise you to take the plunge and connect your website to a content delivery network. Setup is usually virtually painless and usually takes like than 10 minutes, so what’s not to love about that? You will be able to get better GTMetrix Scores, improve your overall SEO, and you’ll be able to wow your users with how fast your website is with the help of a CDN.

Here’s our list of trusty CDN Providers we know and love.






As always, I hope you guys get a lot of value and insight from this article and I want you to check back soon to read about an upcoming article I am writing about setting up your CDN for WordPress. Hope to see you all soon, and remember if you want to comment on this topic or have any questions for any of us here at Digital Brain Food, leave a comment!